EWU Title » Poetry
In this stunning fourth collection, Kathy Fagan expands her ongoing engagement of voice and persona across the borders of both traditional and experimental poetic lines. A book of monologues, portraits, and arias, Lip directs our attention to the sometimes literal ropes and pulleys of the human stage, those operating just out of sight and earshot: the understructure and the undervoice. Fagan's speakers—historical, anonymous, and often subversively female—hold forth, hold back, enfold and unleash in forms as multiply textured as their experience. Always, hovering at the mouth of the vessel, in the margin of speech, is lip: anatomical and botanical, sexual and slang, servile and insolent.
Kathy Fagan is the author of three previous collections of poetry: The Raft, winner of the National Poetry Series; MOVING & ST RAGE, winner of the 1998 Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry; and The Charm (2002). Her work ahs appeared in The Paris Review, FIELD, Ploughshares, The Colorado Review, The Laurel Review, and The New Republic, among many other publications, and has been anthologized in collections such as Poet's Choice, The Extraordinary Tide, and Writing Poems. The recipient of fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the NEA, and the Ohio Arts Council, Fagan teaches in the MFA program at The Ohio State University, where she also serves as poetry editor for The Journal.
In addition to being dazzling examples of one woman's art the poems in Lip, by moving from mythology to hagiology to evolution (and sometimes back), trace the human mind in its efforts to make sense out of the world and to find a place in it; they bring us up to date, so to speak, and if they have lost the courage to speak. They will not back down, they hold to that essential thing, and the voice within them becomes a beloved instrument of breath among the shrieks.
Lip is truly a standout collection of poems. Fagan uses historical figures, quotations, and events as jumping-off points, but these elements also serve to enlarge our awareness of how history stays with us, how public history enters and persists in the private psyche.
—Nance Van Winckel
To purchase Lip by Kathy Fagan, please contact our distributor, University Press of New England toll free at 1-800-421-1561 or by fax at 1-603-448-9729. The book is also available online at UPNE, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers.
To request a copy for review, please contact the Carnegie Mellon University Press Editorial Offices at (412) 268-2861 or by email at CarnegieMellonUniversityPress@gmail.com.